State Homeland security officials: ‘We are at risk’

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INDIANAPOLIS (December 3, 2015) - It's a frightening time for law enforcement officials, after several mass shootings and worldwide threats of terror.

“We don’t exactly know what happened yet,” said Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) in an interview Thursday with FOX Business. “We’ve been concerned, very concerned with the prospects of lone wolves, self-radicalized, getting on social media, linking to ISIS… it’s an enormous issue. It’s the world we live in right now. It’s just a culture of violence that’s sweeping around the world and I think it’s very unsettling.”

Meantime, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security recently unveiled a new campaign called "Ready: Whenever. Wherever."

The campaign encourages Hoosiers to be on the lookout for suspicious activity and to come up with an plan ahead of time if something goes wrong.

"We are at risk in Indiana for violent situations and we simply want people to be as ready as possible," said John Erickson, IDHS director of public information.

Here are some tips the Department provided:

  • Think about different scenarios that could be encountered in public settings.
  • Consider what defensive actions would be appropriate for oneself and one’s family.
  • Mentally or actively rehearse actions.
  • Identify the emergency exits and safety barriers upon entering a building.
  • Maintain awareness of other people and developing situations in the surrounding area.

"You need to have a plan especially when you're our in public think about what you're going to do when a violent situation arises," said Erickson. "We don't want to scare anyone, but it's something we need to come to terms with and think about."

Officials have been working hard to keep people safe and raise awareness about important training procedures.

Just last week DHS officials and the SWAT lieutenant trained 20 local area pastors, showing them this instructional video dealing with active shooter scenarios: